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December 13, 2011
From the Leadership
December 13, 2011
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Economic News from Israel

  • Apple is in talks to acquire its first Israeli company, Herzliya-based flash storage solutions provider Anobit for $400-500 million.  Apple reportedly wants to increase the data storage capacity of its iPads and iPhones, and will probably keep most of Anobit’s staff in Israel.
  • Greenberg Traurig will open an office in Tel Aviv next month, the law firm’s 34th office worldwide and the first international full-time legal office of its kind in Israel.  Gary Epstein has been appointed managing shareholder of the Tel Aviv office and the firm also maintains an active office in Atlanta and membership in AICC.
  • Haifa-based Elbit Systems has bought out the stake of its partner, General Dynamics, in their joint unmanned aerial vehicle venture, UAS Dynamics LLC which is located in Fort Mill, South Carolina.  The company will become part of Elbit Systems of Americas Unmanned Systems business unit.  In a separate announcement, Elbit has won a $38.5 million follow-on contract to provide wide angle conventional head-up displays for US Air Force F16’s with work to be done at the company’s Talledega, Alabama facility.
  • Google plans to open an incubator in Tel Aviv next August that will initially host about 20 pre-seed start-ups for a training period of at least three months, and with focus on developing open code technologies such as their Android mobile operating system and Chrome browser.  It will also house entrepreneurs from Israel’s Arab and ultra-Orthodox communities.
  • Tel Aviv-based Tescom is being acquired by OneI Software Technologies Ltd. for NIS 20 million.  Tescom established its US headquarters in Atlanta 12 years ago.
  • Ra’anana-based NICE Systems has acquired California-based service and sales performance management solutions provider Merced Systems for $150 million.  The Coca-Cola Company is one of the Merced’s prominent customers.
  • Kfar Saba-based Tigo Energy has raised $18 million in a new financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.  The funding will enable the company to accelerate growth, extend manufacturing, and focus on international sales for its photovoltaic optimizing products.  Tigo was one of 14 companies to present at the Southeast-Israel Energy Technology Business Exchange hosted by GE Energy in Atlanta last May.
  • Over 100 exhibitors from around the world participated in the third WATEC Conference in Tel Aviv last month where Israel NewTech director Oded Distel estimated that Israeli water technology companies’ transactions totaled over $2 billion this year.  The Southeast delegation to the conference included several AICC members and government officials from Georgia and South Carolina.
  • Bank of Israel cut its forecast for 2012 to match the OECD forecast of 2.2% growth for the Israeli economy in 2012 with a predicted 3.8% GDP growth in 2013.  By contrast, Citi predicted just 2% growth for next year.

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